Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sagehen Orientation Climbs Steadfast

Six students headed into the wilderness of Plumas National Forest toward Smith Lake.

From time to time they might have been tied into knots...

...they might have had to pack and unpack... some great new friends...

...and work together... get the job done.

Taking breaks during our hikes...
were fun...

...Mara and Luis even fell off a log.

They hammed it up for the camera ...

...and with thanks to the instructors...

...and a little steadfast determination and perseverence, they got to see some amazing views,...

...some cool trees,...,...
...some valleys,...
...some lakes, (Do you know what lake that is?)...

...even a little bit...

of who they...

really are.

Steadfast, Strong and Smiley.

Nice job to the ARC 2007 Orientation Group on a job well done.

Hope to see you this summer.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Poetry Challenge for ARC graduates and participants


Winds may blow violently at times,

Others, gently whispering cool secrets.

The deluge of the day wears away,

Digging deep around my roots.

My roots hold on. My trunk is solid,

strong, and determined. My skin protects.

The night approaches slowly

Silently like a hunting lion.

Chilled to the core, everything is darkened,

Some find fear here.

I sleep soundly. Dreaming of the light

And the life it helps me make.

Smoke fills the air. Fires burn below.

There is trouble brewing;

From time to time, panic sets in.

The clouds gather and the shadows lurk.

I stand like a tree because I am me.

And that is all I need to be.

john arsenault May 2007.

If anyARC graduates or current students have a poem or other writing that you want to submit for publication with the ARC Blog send them to John Arsenault. Submissions must be appropriate and relevant with your ARC experience. Advice, reflections, accounts of post-course service work, or other creative endeavors are most welcome. Happy trails.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Spring Preparations for 2007 ARC Course

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend from us all at ARC.

By John Arsenault, Course Director and English Teacher for the Sagehen Course,

I spent the weekend hiking various areas checking out the melting snow and blossoming spring around the ARC course area. With granola bars and water galore, I headed toward Mt Tallac and Loch Leven Trailheads. Tallac was mostly clear of snow. A few patches of snow remained on shady northern faces but for the most part the trail was not bad.

The views of Tahoe were absolutely stunning. My camera didn’t really do it justice.

The next day I checked out the Loch Leven area. I think this may be my new favorite hike. The snow pack was still around on northern faces; however, the trail was packed enough to be easily passable. I met all kinds of people on the trail, a large group of friends from San Francisco, a few couples, a troop of Boy Scouts training for their trip to Philmont, Arizona, and a train conductor. Yes, I waved to the train conductor as he chugged on by, empty cars and all.

There were spots on the Loch Leven trail that were absolutely mystical. Mossy trees, shaded glens by small mountain lakes, and alpine flowers poking through the rocks marked the trail ever higher. The snow deepened as I climbed, yet toward the top began yielding to puddles, brooks and streams everywhere. The forest smelled fresh as the sun warmed my nose. Robins darted here and there, curious, yet skiddish of my tromping.

Lizards did push-ups on rocks as they twisted their heads one way and then another.

Checking me checking them out.

Flowers poked out of the rock as if responsible for the widening cracks.

Finally I reached the lakes, took off my pack, and propped it against a tree. I ravaged through my pack for a granola bar, snagged a big old bite and settled into quick break.

I looked out over the Middle Loch Leven and thought, my heart still pounding away, “whoever is going on the 2007 ARC orientation trip is psyched!”

Until later. John